Helen Haskell, MA

Founder of Mothers Against Medical Error

Helen Haskell is co-chair of the World Health Organization’s Patients for Patient Safety advisory group, president of the American nonprofit patient organizations Mothers Against Medical Error and Consumers Advancing Patient Safety, and a board member of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. Since the medical error death of her young son Lewis in 2000, Helen has devoted herself to enhancing the patient contribution to safety and quality in healthcare, in areas ranging from infection prevention, medication safety, and diagnostic accuracy to health professional education and response to patient harm. She serves as a public director at the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education and on the board of advisors of the Medstar Institute for Quality and Safety and the International Society for Rapid Response Systems. Helen has been closely involved in the passage of patient safety legislation in her state of South Carolina and has written numerous articles, book chapters, and patient educational materials, including a co-edited textbook of case studies in patient safety from the patient perspective. Her son Lewis’s story has been featured in educational programs and videos including Transparent Health’s full-length Lewis Blackman Story. Helen holds a bachelor’s degree in Classical Studies from Duke University and a master’s degree in Anthropology from Rice University in the United States.